Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Open Letter to Rabbi Rosenbaum, President of the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington / Vaad Harabonim of Greater Washington

Dear Rabbi Rosenbaum,

You have greeted me with a smile despite my opposition to your treatment of Aharon Friedman. Sometimes we clashed in public. On two occasions I counter-protested at rallies against Aharon that you promoted and attended. We met privately several times to discuss the matter.

I have contacted some of the other Rabbinical leaders in the DC area. When I bring up the issue of the Washington Vaad letter that urges people to persuade Aharon to give a Get, all roads lead back to you. You hold the key to rescinding the letter.

The Vaad letter specifically references a letter from the Agudas Harabonim that also calls on people to persuade Aharon to give a Get. It is clear to all now that that the Agudas Harabonim letter is a fraud.

The Agudas Harabonim letter is fraudulent in numerous ways. It is from a Bais Din, and yet the Bais Din never met with one of the parties in the dispute. It is from a Bais Din, yet this Bais Din did not have jurisdiction, despite the assertion otherwise in the Vaad letter. It is from a Bais Din, but one of the signatories to the letter received favors from the family of one of the parties to the dispute. The list goes on and on. One of the signatories is headed to prison because he was part of another Bais Din that ruled that a non-existent husband in a non-existent marriage should be beaten. At least one official of the Agudas Harabonim participated in the attempted beating. One or more of the other signatories was aware, and apparently approved, of this other Bais Din's method of making secret rulings to beat husbands. One of the signatories specifically said the letter is not meant to be used as a basis for public rallies against Aharon, but that is exactly how the letter was used by ORA at a rally here in DC where I first met Rabbi Jeremy Stern and he showed me the letter.

Perhaps most significantly, the Agudas Harabonim letter purported to be a Seruv but did not conform to the Halachic format of a Seruv. The letter was phony on its face.

The Vaad letter refers to Tamar Epstein as an "agunah". This "agunah" just remarried. It is two years since this "agunah" declared herself free and stopped demanding a Get.

Yet, you, Rabbi Rosenbaum still demand of other Rabbis in town that they pressure Aharon to give a Get.

And the Rav is an honorable man.

So I would like to ask you, or any other Rabbi in town who accepts you as leader of the Vaad, to please explain to the thousands who follow this blog, what is your basis for excluding Aharon until he gives a Get?

Please include the basis for the Vaad determining the Baltimore Bais Din no longer had jurisdiction, and please explain the Halachic basis for forcing a Get in the context of a wife unilaterally deciding to leave her husband.

I hope the graciousness you have always shown me will be extended to answering my sincere question.

Joe Orlow

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